Gov Can't Keep Track of All His Boards and Commissions
State government grows in the dark, like a fungus. • Bill Daley has an idea to take the party out of state elections. • Time magazine mourns for Illinois.
When Gov. Pat Quinn took office in 2009, he promised to take aim at state boards and commissions stocked with politically connected folks drawing large salaries with little oversight into their activities.
He would pare down those panels and save you money.
Better Government Association investigative reporter Barbara Rose this month looked into whether Quinn delivered:
"... more than three years into Quinn’s watch little has changed, except the number of such units is growing. As troubling, many don’t comply with the Illinois Open Meetings Act, according to a report last year by state Auditor General William Holland."
In fact, the governor's office is having a hard time keeping up with it all.
"With over 322 boards and commissions, including approximately 3,000 governor-appointed positions, it has become increasingly difficult to track both current and newly created entities," Quinn’s Office of Executive Appointments wrote in response to Holland’s report, released in September 2011.
Not the Life of the Party: Illinois should replace primary elections with nonpartisan contests where candidates who secure more than half the vote win, suggests Bill Daley in a report on Clout Street. Daley is mulling a challenge to Gov. Pat Quinn. That's how Chicago conducts its election. The general public seems increasingly less connected to political parties, and our current primary system gives party stalwarts entirely too much sway over the candidates ultimately selected to run for office, state or federal.
Perhaps the governor can appoint a commission to study this idea.
Squeezy Was a Bargain-Basement Idea in a Cellar-Dwelling State: According to WCIA-TV, Squeezy the Pension Python, the centerpiece of the governor's brilliant pension reform campaign, cost all of $23. Meanwhile, a new report from the Illinois Auditor General shows the five state pension programs are paying out way more than they take in as their investment values tank, reports Illinois Watchdog. And Time magazine, poking fun at Squeezy, has decided Illinois should be the national poster child for how not to run a state.